I am the mother of four young children. My oldest is a magnificently quirky, confident, brilliant 8-year-old boy, named Linus, who just happens to have Asperger's Syndrome.
Asperger's Syndrome is a form of high functioning autism, characterized by: difficulties with reciprocal social interactions (ie. carrying on a two-sided conversation); impairments in language skills (ie. forming sentences or questions correctly); narrow range of interests and an insistence on set routines; motor clumsiness; cognitive issues (ie. difficulties with problem solving, organizations, carrying out requests) and sensory sensitivities.
Most autistic children require many different medicines and treatments such as Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Social Skills Training, Feeding Therapies, etc. For most, these therapies are vital, even through teen years, to help grow an individual capable of living as independently as possible. United Healthcare has a policy that stops medical coverage, relating to autism (including these therapies) at age 9.
Autism does not magically disappear at age 9, but United Healthcare and other insurance companies like it, believe that medical coverage for it should.
Stop cutting off medical coverage for Autism at age 9
Autism does not magically disappear at age 9. In fact, because kids with Asperger's Syndrome look like the rest of us neurotypical people, many are not even diagnosed until between the ages of 6-9. Also, because these kids "look" neurotypical, it is easy for people to forget that they need so many supports.
United Healthcare would like to cut off coverage just when children's bodies are beginning to change immensely and classes at school and social environments are becoming more difficult to navigate, a time when they need these vital therapies, especially therapies such as social skills training (to help them learn to interact in a more "normal" way with their peers or understand what teacher's are "really" asking for) more than ever.
My hope is that, with your help, we can muster enough support to make big insurance companies, like mine, take a second look at what these kids really need. To make them understand that this is a medical condition that is never cured, but it is treatable. We CAN manage the "symptoms" with good therapies and proper supports.
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